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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
02-22-2009, 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by marscentral View Post
I still don't think he realises why he was wrong.....
Which is precisely the problem I have with people at a Production level and above forcing creative changes on a game -- they don't seem to understand why that's a misuse of their power/authority/responsibility.

In a small company, there's naturally going to be some overlap. I understand that. Furthermore, I would hope that a lead designer or design team would be open to any good idea regardless of who comes up with it.

The problem is when someone with larger responsibilities has the power to say, "I think the game needs X," and forces a designer to incorporate that idea. Every time that happens, it gets harder for the lead designer to achieve a coherent creative vision.

That creative freedom certainly doesn't guarantee a hit game. Designers can be wrong. And it doesn't mean that designers must be allowed to spend as much time and/or money as they want, with no controls or constraints on the practical realization of their creative vision.

All that keeping producers and execs out of the game design business does is improve the odds that when a game is finished, despite all the compromises that must always be made for time and money and technology, the game that sees the light of day will be as focused on as specific a play experience as can be had because it is the product of a singular and undiluted vision.

It seems to me that there's significant value to be had from defining and enforcing that kind of business structure. And if I were to quit my day job to run a game development studio, that's precisely how I would attempt to organize the business.

Until then, if someone from Cryptic wanted to pop their head in here to explain how astonishingly naive these suggestions have been, and to comment on How Things Really Work, well, I'm hardly in a position to argue with them.

I would close this note, though, by being sure to mention that I do understand something of how hard it is to develop a complex software product, much less a big product that's actually good. I'm responsible for system builds, QA, configuration management, personnel management, and a host of other production-related tasks in the software development environment I work in, so I want to tip my cap in particular to Daniel. Best of luck to you!